I Love Pies and Tarts is a definitive guide to creating luscious, modern, one-dish desserts, and a few entrees, in the time-honored traditions of American pie making. The recipes in this book range from the rustic pies of the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside, Amish Vanilla Pie and Apple Dumplings, to the sophisticated and modern European-inspired tarts, Apricot-Frangipane Tart and Lemon Curd Tartlets.
After eight years of cooking in New York City, I have accumulated more than 13 stars from The New York Times as an Executive Pastry Chef. Best known for my menus at the three-star restaurants Town and Union Pacific, I have experienced the emergence of a new American cooking first hand. New American cuisine remains true to the French classical roots in which it was born and the native flavors that are essentially American, yet gathers influence from cuisines around the globe. In addition to my work in these top kitchens, I have also created numerous classic French and Italian menus, such as the menus of the two-star restaurants Tuscan and The Brasserie.Starting my career as a breakfast cook, I worked my way around the kitchen for many years. Before becoming a chef, I worked with several great chefs including two years with Daniel Boulud and Francois Payard at the restaurant Daniel, as well as cooking for four years with Christian Bertrand, a Maitre de Cuisinier de France, formerly of Lutece. First really coming to the attention of the press in New York in 2000, I made a splash with my signature chocolate beignets at The Brasserie. Critical acclaim followed the next year in May 2001, when Town received three stars from the New York Times' William Grimes. While remaining very complimentary on my new take on the traditional cheese course, the desserts blew him away. "This is the kind of dessert that can silence a table," he claimed. "It's magic." Recently, I was a consultant for Spirit Media and the NBC television show The Restaurant.